Short Story Sunday 220: Quote

Short Story: "Quote" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing |

            “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful. Eric Thomas.”

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. Walt Disney.”

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke.”

Brooke peered through the archway as she walked by the entrance to the living room. She paused after she passed and took a couple steps backward gazing into the room again. Her little sister was lying on her stomach on the plush carpet. Markers were displayed all over the floor, a large poster board lying in front of her. She was humming to herself as she colored.

Brooke entered the room tossing the clean towels she had just washed onto the couch. She stood over her sister and tilted her head to read the writing on the poster. Her sister’s handwriting was atrocious and she was using so many colors – all the colors, really – that it was hard to read.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m writing quotes.” Amber replied. She didn’t look up from her work. She continued coloring the black outline of words with a neon pink marker.

“Quotes for what?”

“Just because.”

Brooke squatted beside her lying sister and squinted her eyes to try to read the writing. “These aren’t too bad. Why are you writing motivational quotes though?”

“It’s for a present.” Amber replied.

Brooke nodded not knowing what else to say. She patted her sister on the top of her head. “Well, good job. Have fun.” She stood up her knees popping as she straightened out. Brooke groaned. She was in her mid-twenties, her body shouldn’t have been making weird noises.

She picked up the towels from the couch and left the room to put them away and finish the laundry.

Brooke was in between jobs. She used to work for a graphic design company. Her boss wasn’t very good and she had always worked the majority on a project because her co-workers always seemed to slack off. She had quit unexpectedly after getting so annoyed. She didn’t know what had come over her and were afraid her parents would be angry but they were actually proud.

In fact, they encouraged her to take this time to build a portfolio of her work and try to go into graphic design for herself as a freelancer. Once she could make a steady income from it she’d go back to school for business and build her own team of graphic designers.

It worked out well for her parents and for Amber as well. Their parents both worked full-time jobs, their father working a part-time job as well. Amber was old enough to stay home alone for a little while but their parents felt better knowing Brooke was home to pick Amber up from school and stay with her at home to make sure she completed her homework and such.

Brooke worked hard during the day while her parents and sister were at work and school, but after picking Amber up from school; Brooke spent the rest of the day doing chores. Her parents worked hard and were allowing her to take a big risk. She figured the least she could do was have the house clean and dinner started for them when they got home.

Later that night, Brooke had just finished helping her mother clean up from dinner. It was still early enough that she figured she could finish up one of her projects before relaxing for the night and heading to bed.

When she entered her bedroom, also her office, Brooke paused in the doorway.

“Amber! What are you doing in my room?” she demanded.

Amber turned around. She smiled sheepishly. “I was hoping you’d take a little longer downstairs.” She stepped to the side showing off her posterboard.

Brooke looked down at her sister’s feet seeing the tape dispenser and pieces of used tapes scattered at her feet. She sighed at the mess.

“What are you doing?” she asked more calm this time.

Amber shrugged. “I wanted it to be a surprise but you caught me earlier working on it.”

Brooke cracked a smile. “You were working on it in the middle of the living room. It wasn’t very subtle.”

“I was trying to hang it on the wall for you, but I think the poster is too heavy for the tape so it wouldn’t stay.” Amber turned around and looked at the board. She folded her arms as though she was trying to think of a new way to get it to stay.

Brooke stepped into the room and stood beside her sister. “Well, it’s a tri-fold posterboard. It’s meant to stand up on its own.”

“I know that.” Amber scoffed.

“Then you can’t hang it up.” Brooke shrugged.

Amber thought for a moment. She picked up the posterboard and moved it to the other side of the room. Brooke bent down and began picking up the little bits of tape.


Brooke stood up crumpling the tape into a ball in her hands. She stared at her sister who had stood the poster up beside her desk.

“Wait, I thought you said that was a present? You meant for me?” she asked.

Amber nodded. She stood beside the poster tall smiling proud as though it was her prized work showing it off for a science fair.

Brooke smiled. “Thank you, Amber. It’s lovely.”

“I thought you might need this to help you with your work.”

Brooke dropped the ball of tape back onto the floor and bent down to hug her sister. “This is the best gift I’ve ever gotten.”

Words: 952

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